Football Sponsorships Score Points

Oct 11, 2004  •  Post A Comment

By Sheree R. Curry

Special to TelevisionWeek

Nashville may be known as Music City, but high school football gives country music a run for its money in this state capital and home of cable’s Country Music Television network.

As a result, Comcast Spotlight puts a lot of effort into matching advertisers with various football sponsorships.

With a high school football sponsorship, clients such as the local Wendy’s franchise group and Chevrolet automotive dealers receive more than the presenting and title sponsorships for 11 games. They also get a lot of promotional exposure, said Comcast Spotlight Area VP and General Manager Dave Carter.

“We’ll put signs in 120 metro transit buses, which are the primary way Titans ticket holders get to the games. We’ll do outdoor-three billboards in the city, in major thoroughfares and along the interstate,” Mr. Carter said. “We’ll take three strips during the week in the local paper, The Tennessean. We’ll also do radio. Our clients will have logo placement and mention in all of those other places if they place one buy with us.”

Comcast Spotlight’s own ad spending has had a 25 percent to 30 percent increase year over year, Mr. Carter said. “There is an ancillary benefit to Comcast in that high school football is big and it helps us retain subscribers. It actually helps the cable system more than it helps us, Comcast Spotlight. We break even on it, because the actual production of the games is expensive,” he said.

The football phenomenon also plays out in college, with sponsorships available for games at Vanderbilt University, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee State University and Belmont University. With these come promotions, such as Scholar Player of the Week and a recognition at the Music City Bowl on New Year’s Eve.